March 3, 2012 Bangkok Post
WORLD NEWS: Bangkok, Thailand
Chatuchak Weekend Market vendors have been given a March 13 deadline to renew their rental contracts or lose their rights, the Transport Ministry says.
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT), which has taken over the operations of the market from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, yesterday opened the books to existing vendors to renew their contracts at the new monthly fee of 3,157 baht per stall (£64.79) with two year leases.
The SRT earlier bowed to vendor pressure to scrap the one-time set fee of 50,000 baht (£1,028) and a deposit of 20,000 baht (£411) per stall.
About 100 stall holders yesterday gathered at the market and later blocked the outbound section of Phahon Yothin road to pressure the SRT to reduce the fee rate. They insisted it should be less than 1,000 baht a month with a 30-year contract period.
About 80 police were deployed to direct traffic and monitor the situation. Traffic around the market was disrupted and motorists were advised to avoid the area.
A second group of 100 crowd control police was put on standby.
JJ vendors appeal to PM over rent costs
Chatuchak Weekend Market vendors will ask Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to intervene and reduce the rent for stalls from 3,562 baht to 1,000 baht a month.
Sa-nguan Damrongthai, chairman of the Chatuchak Weekend Market Cooperatives and a protest leader among the vendors, said market shopkeepers would today seek justice from the prime minister at Government House over the rents which the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has set.
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